Road Riding Tip

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Don’t Make Drivers Pass You Twice

Here’s a common situation that can easily result in annoyed motorists and dangerous driving if handled the wrong way:

A number of cars have rolled past you and now they’re stopped at a red light. You have 2 choices:

—You can stop behind the last car, move forward when it does — and maybe get caught by the light again, losing another couple of minutes.

—You can ride up the edge of the road to the front of the line, passing all the cars that just passed you.

We’re as guilty as the next roadie of making the second choice, even though passing like this is unsafe if not illegal. (We’re talking about roads without wide shoulders or bike lanes.)

Now at the front of the line again, you have 2 more choices when the light turns green:

—You can push off immediately and resume riding.

—You can stand still to let the drivers move ahead or turn in front or you, then go before the green light changes.

To ensure peace on Earth, the second way is recommended. Because if you don’t let the traffic go, you’ll be forcing each driver to pass you a second time.

Trade places with one of them. He just managed to get around you, and now you’re in front of him again. He was considerate once but got nothing in return. Maybe this time he’ll use the horn and squeeze past. Maybe he’ll swerve and cut in to “teach you a lesson.”

If you want a guaranteed hassle, leave first again at the third light.

Now we all know what it’s like to ride our bikes with Alberta motorists, so it’s important as cyclists to do our part to be courteous to drivers, so we can expect the same courtesy in return.

5 Responses to “Road Riding Tip”

  1. are you kidding?

  2. 2wheeler, care to elaborate on your comment: “are you kidding”

    Are you attempting to create a discussion or just being stupid?

  3. Keith Bayly Says:

    I have been riding like this for years and years. Drivers appreciate the courtesy and it is safer to hold a spot in line at a light rather than box yourself in against the curb.

    Nothing says “I’m new to cycling .” like a guy that moves all the way to the front of the line between the curb and the row of cars in the right hand lane only to yell at the driver that makes a right hand turn in front of him. You’ve got no business passing on the right. If someone did that to you on the highway you would lose your mind with anger and disgust.

    I’ll admit that I split lanes in gridlock and never look back but that makes me more of a bandit than a nuisance. And besides, I go up the center of the road, avoiding the “curb lane of death”.

    If we all rode like this there would be absolutely no need for “bike lanes”.

  4. On my daily commute i constantly pass cars and they pass me back. Just part of the daily grind of commuting. I don’t see it as a cyclists role to create peace on earth, but to get to where I’m going courteously, legally and efficiently.

    I’ve never heard of the above suggestion, and haven’t witnessed it in Calgary.

  5. I’m with Keith, what’s the harm in waiting your turn at the light? Give a little courtesy and get some back.

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